Charismatic front man Josh Todd and fellow Buckcherry band mates (Keith Nelson and Stevie D., guitars; Kelly LeMieux, bass; Xavier Muriel, drums) , brought his animated, physical, and more than slightly NC-17 style to Wild Bill’s in Duluth on May 23, headlining a triple bill with Fozzy and Kickin Valentina.
The set was a decent mix of old and new songs, beginning with the intro to The Who’s “Eminence Front,” followed by “Lit Up” off their 1999 first album, an ode to cocaine (although Todd has been sober for a number of years) , which was the perfect time for Todd to show, as he often does, his expertise at running and leaping and making a generally compelling spectacle all over the stage. From a photography standpoint, this is a very very good band to shoot: Todd takes a cue from other rock bands like Aerosmith and the Stones and makes sure he puts on a performance to look at as well as to listen to. Unfortunately there was no pit so true close-ups were not possible, but that’s what zoom lenses are for.
Following with fan favorites “Rescue Me,” “Everything,” and “Sorry,” they delivered a solid show filled with Todd’s typical near-adult-rated patter during and in between songs, which mainly deals with sex, women, and what happens before during and after sex with women. Naturally the two songs that are the the best fodder for Buckcherry’s and especially Todd’s vocal and visual style were set-closer “Crazy Bitch” off 15 and encore song “Too Drunk” from Black Butterfly.
“Crazy Bitch” began with a parallel play of the Stones music to “Miss You” while Todd sang the lyrics to Chuck Brown’s “Bustin’ Loose” – Buckcherry often tosses in a short cover as an intro or bridge, and between that, band intros, thanks to the audience, and the extended spoken work section (on the aforementioned sex / women topic), the 3-minute album release turned into a nearly 12-minute song / monologue of just which personality characteristics do and do not make up the titled character and what Todd, or at least his onstage persona, likes in women. It is probably the most often audience-recorded song they have – there are dozens of versions on YouTube – because no matter that the lyrics are rather juvenile and objectifying (“Hey you’re a crazy bitch / But you f-ck so good I’m on top of it / When I dream I’m doing you all night / Scratches all down my back to keep me right on”), the performance is one of the most rabble-rousing of any live show. It’s not Shakespeare but it is fun.
Buckcherry will be touring Europe from June 8 through June 27 and will be back with dates in the US in August – full into at buckcherry.com/events.